Media headlines have been recently dominated by the Government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste.

First, we heard about the “latte levy” – a 25p charge on all disposable coffee cups – then the plans to extend the 5p plastic bags fee to all retailers.

It is not just the Government that is taking action; modern customers are growing more environmentally-conscious too.

An average of 10.3 million viewers in the UK watched Blue Planet II each Sunday last year according to the BBC*. The breath-taking footage of the underwater world excited the imagination of many but also drew attention to issues such as climate change and plastic waste.

With both customers and environmental organisations demanding more eco-friendly solutions, many retailers have rushed to review their environmental and corporate responsibility policies. If you haven’t started yet, begin by revising your packaging.

Below are six eco-friendly packaging solutions to help you limit the use of plastic in your packaging operation.

1. Paper carrier bags

Paper carrier bags are a great alternative to their plastic equivalents. They are fully recyclable and easily personalised with your logo, company name or custom message for an enhanced brand experience.

2. Air cushioning

Air packaging solutions such as Airsac inflatable bags are perfect for shipping a wide range of fragile items such as perfumes, wine, jam jars and electronics.

They are composed of only 2% of film and 98% of air and are 100% recyclable. These light solutions will barely add to the weight of your parcels, helping keep your transport costs lower while limiting your CO2 emissions from fewer vehicle movements.

3. Paper packaging

Consider switching to paper solutions such as Geami – they offer excellent product protection and are very easy to recycle. Choosing a colourful paper insert will uplift your product presentation upon opening, making the unboxing experience even more enjoyable!

4. Less packaging

Don’t overpack. Counter intuitively, too much packaging can be as harmful as insufficient cushioning. Overfilled packages weigh more, adding to your transport and material costs, and can burst in transit, damaging the contents.

Automated packaging solutions will help ensure you only use as much packaging material as needed while significantly increasing your packing speed and reducing the unnecessary use of packaging materials. Speak to a packaging expert to find out more.

5. Gummed paper tape

A simple change such as switching to gummed paper tape can go a long way!

Its excellent bonding properties mean you only need a single layer to ensure a good seal. Made from sustainable, degradable materials, gummed paper tape is recyclable and does not need to be removed from boxes before recycling.

6. Paper pulp packaging

Paper pulp solutions consist of recycled paper materials and are perfect for securely shipping items such as electronics, home appliances and disposable medical products. They can be moulded into different shapes and are biodegradable and fully recyclable.

Contact Macfarlane Packaging to find out more about different environmentally-friendly packaging solutions and their benefits: https://www.macfarlanepackaging.com/contact/

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References:

*Blue Planet returns with ratings victory over Strictly Come Dancing: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/30/blue-planet-ii-ratings-victory-strictly-come-dancing

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